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‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ Banned from Middle School Library

April 27, 1992 GMT

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ The ″Clan of the Cave Bear,″ a richly detailed look at prehistoric times, has been banned from a middle-school library after a parent objected to a rape scene.

Jean Auel, author of the 1980 best seller, said teen-agers can make up their own minds.

″I write books primarily for adults, not for children, so when it comes to a middle school, I’m not going to make an issue of it,″ she said Sunday. ″If it were a public library keeping adults from reading it, then I would really kick up a stink.″

The Bethel School Board voted two weeks ago to ban the book from the Cascade Middle School library after a parent complained. Wayne Rice said the book was on a suggested home-reading list provided by his eighth-grade son’s teacher, but was not required reading.

The book is about a young woman named Ayla, a Cro-Magnon who is grudgingly adopted by a clan of Neanderthals when they find her near death after an earthquake. She must struggle to survive their culture as an outsider with different looks and is attacked by a male member of the clan.

″I know that if kids are not emotionally prepared to understand something like this, they’ll pass right by it,″ said Auel. ″And if they do understand it, they’ll see that rape is a terrible thing.″

The district had no other complaints about the book, which was removed from a Michigan high school in 1988 for being sexually explicit.

Wayne Watkins, the school board president, said each board member read the book before voting to ban it.

Auel, whose name is pronounced ″owl,″ has five children and 15 grandchildren and lives in Portland.

The book, the first of a series Auel has written, was not in the library in the Bethel district’s other middle school. It remains in the library of the district’s only high school.